Glass is beautiful, decorative, stylish... and extremely fragile. Yes, while custom glass sheets are a trendy addition or enhancement to many spaces, getting the pieces from
Point A to Point B can be somewhat of a challenge — specifically because of their aforementioned fragility. The right packaging and shipping is extremely crucial.
As a glass shop, the last thing that you want is an unsatisfied consumer because their product is broken or damaged upon receiving it. It's why we can't stress the importance of being proactive with your shipping and packaging process enough.
Additionally, it’s of paramount importance to choose a custom glass manufacturer who follows careful shipping protocol -- ensuring quality every step of the way, and eliminating defects in the glass that reaches your consumer.
Here's a look at what to do (and what not to do) when shipping custom glass sheets. Plus, some notes on what to look out for when receiving glass from your manufacturer.
How Product is Shipped by Your Custom Glass Manufacturer
At New Angle Beveling, we follow stringent and detailed protocol for getting our glass out of our facility and safely in the hands of our customers.
The main factors taken into consideration while deciding how best to ship products to our customers are location and quantity. From there, we decide next steps based on a few things:
Out of State Shipping
When a customer is out of state, we ship their order via common carrier. Our selection of carrier is determined by carefully reading reviews of the carrier, or by customer preference.
To prepare the glass for carrier delivery, it is crated using foam between the wood and the glass and ample packaging material within. Paper interleaving is included to prevent the glass pieces from rubbing and scratching against one another while in the crate.
Crates are built out of either 2x4 or 2x6 material, depending on the depth that is required for the glass sheet. It is standard to screw either OSB or plywood sheathing to the core of the crate. Then, a 1x4 or 1x6 material is screwed vertically and horizontally on the outside of the crate to prevent the OSB and glass from being punctured.
On the inside of the crate, a blocking material is used to secure the glass from the bottom of the crate so the glass is not resting directly on the wood. This acts as a suspension, so the glass is safe during transit. Banding is then placed around the entirety of the crate to secure it in place and limit movement.
The crate can be placed upon a skid for forklift unloading if required by the customer.
For a larger quantity of glass being shipped locally, the above steps are followed to ensure glass is shipped safely via crating. Alternatively, they could be placed on an L-Buck and offloaded with a forklift if there is substantial size and weight.
For smaller quantities of glass shipped locally (or large quantities of thin glass), the sheets are cardboard wrapped and placed on a skid.
For other glass products, such as shower doors, fabricated glass, or beveled mirrors -- the glass is cardboard wrapped with rubber products utilized as corner protectors to prevent breakage. While some glass companies opt to use film on the glass, at New Angle Beveling we utilize cardboard to ensure better protection.
Smaller fabricated products and orders that are shipped locally are often wrapped or shipped “loose” using static cling cork tabs in between. Whenever possible, we ship glass products in covered trucks to protect our fabricated glass from the elements.
3 Do’s of Custom Glass Shipping
So how do you best ship custom glass sheets?
Here's a look at what you should be doing:
- Overpackage it: Glass doesn't bend, it breaks. So you want to take all the steps you can to ensure that it's packaged properly. This is best done by overpacking. First, wrap the glass sheet in a garbage bag or bubble wrap to prevent scratching. Then, consider adding some secondary protective packaging as well, such as air pillows, foam or even loose fill peanuts. Suspended packaging can even work to ensure the glass doesn't move during transit.
- Build a custom box (or two): We'd also suggest having a custom box built for glass sheets. This ensures the sheets fit snugly inside the box, packaging materials and all, so that the product does not move around during transit. To add extra security during shipping, you can have a slightly bigger box custom built, which you'll place the first one inside, then line the space between the two boxes with foam or another type of protective packaging.
- Find a special shipper: Now that you have your packaging all set, it's time to actually have the product shipped to the end user. You can take a chance on using one of the mainstream shippers, or you could put in the extra effort to find a special transporter that specializes in the safe delivery of delicate and fragile items. We'd recommend the latter, especially for high-priced and valuable glass sheets.
3 Don’t of Shipping Custom Glass
Now that we've gone over how to package and ship glass sheets, here are some tips on what you absolutely don't want to do:
- Don't under package: Don't just wrap the glass, throw it in a box and hope that it'll be enough. It's always better to over package.
- Don't disrespect the end consumer: This is perhaps the most important "don't." You never want to disrespect the end consumer with your packaging or shipping. It will only reflect negatively on your business in the end.
- Don't be afraid to try new things: Having poor results with a packaging style or with a shipper? Don't be afraid to switch them up so that your process works better. Remember, your packaging and transportation is all for the benefit of the end consumer. Keep the consumer in mind always.
Protection Throughout the Journey
Safe glass shipping starts with it arriving safely to your shop.
Partner with a glass manufacturer that follows meticulous shipping protocol, limiting damage and imperfections.